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Drop What You’re Doing & Make the Switch to Google Expanded Text Ads

Ready or not, the time to convert to Expanded Text Ads (ETA) in Google pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is here.

Earlier this year, Google introduced ETAs, which provide more space for ad text over the standard text ads we’re used to, and they are better optimized for the mobile experience.

ETAs have been available to most advertisers for a few months now and many have already started to make the switch and see positive results. If you haven’t already tackled this project, don’t panic (yet!). Google will continue to support and run your existing ads until January 31, 2017. However, after that you will no longer be able to edit those existing standard text ads or create new ones – you will have to make the switch and create new expanded text ads moving forward. Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – Year-end recaps, announcements and things that make you go ‘awww’

Weekly Reads

Christmas and New Years are swiftly approaching, and we all know the stories that this season brings: year-end recaps, big 2017 announcements and stories that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. We just so happen to enjoy all of those types of stories, so this week’s edition of Weekly Reads features some of our favorites. 

Social Year-in-Review

Forbes: The Top 7 Social Media Trends That Dominated 2016

As this Forbes contributor aptly writes, “the social media world changes so fast it’s hard to tell which trends are temporary fads and which ones are going to stick.” This recap does a good job of encapsulating seven trends that rose above “fad” status.

CNET: Adele’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ is top viral video of 2016

That a video involving Adele would top the charts in 2016 doesn’t tell us all that much. It’s what she’s doing in that video that does. This isn’t a music video from her newest, multi-platinum album or a live performance showcasing the full extent of her incomparable ability as a musician. It’s not even her singing. It’s her doing something we all do: crushing every lyric of a rap song in her car — once again underscoring the power and importance of stripped-down, easily-relatable authenticity on social media.

Read more after the jump…

Small Idea, Big Movement

bohsw-zcuaavuieI love great ideas! Especially the ones that start out small but then revolutionize an industry. In 2007, a like-minded group of individuals, including Pam Warhurst and Mary Clear, wanted to find a way in which everyone could help improve their own community. Their solution: They taught their local residents to take control of their community through gardening and eating.

“The answer was food,” said Warhurst in her TED Talk. “Everyone understands food. Food gets people talking; even better, it inspires people to take action.” They started with small herb gardens and community plots in a Northern England town called Todmorden. Then they planted corn in front of a police station, fruit trees on the sides of roads, vegetables in front of the senior center, and even planted gardens in the cemetery, where “things grow really well because the soil is really good!” Read more after the jump…

The Importance of Patagonia’s Black Friday Campaign

This year, Patagonia announced that it would donate all Black Friday proceeds to grassroots environmental groups fighting to protect natural resources like water, oil and soil. The company expected to rake in about $2 million across its 80 global stores and Patagonia.com. In reality, Patagonia recorded $10 million in revenue – five times what the company expected – and is still promising to donate 100 percent of that revenue to the environmental groups.

Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – Small Brands Can Gain Traction by Targeting Their Perfect Customer

Small brands are discovering that they can grow by targeting the customers that big brands leave behind. By discovering niche audiences that industry giants ignore in advertising, small companies have found a way to thrive while also making their customers feel unique. Meanwhile, Reddit is punishing trolls, Uber is infringing on customer privacy and Netflix finally allows content to be downloaded for offline viewing.

Social Advertising

Entrepreneur: What Small Brands Do That Big Brands Can’t

Small brands are cropping up and taking advantage of customers who feel left behind by big brands. Many of them are using social media to target their unique customer, allowing them to grow intelligently with a fraction of the advertising budget of their larger competitors.

Read more after the jump…

Using Facebook Content Remarketing to Tell a Story

GroundFloor Media Culture VideoWhile the ability to create Facebook audiences based on whether or not, and how long, they have engaged with content that you have already posted to your Facebook Page has existed for some users for quite a while, it only rolled out to all brands in the last few months. The functionality allows marketers to target users based on the amount of time they have viewed a video that had been previously posted.

Read more after the jump…

Secret Facebook Groups Can Benefit Brands

When it comes to brand presence on Facebook, we often counsel that less is more. Typically, that means one brand page to streamline conversation onto one page where you can more easily monitor for feedback and engage with your fans. For brands with certain audiences, however, secret Facebook groups could be a real benefit.

GFM's cover photo for its secret Facebook group.

GFM’s cover photo for its secret Facebook group.

What is a secret Facebook group?

Facebook offers three levels of privacy for groups: public, closed and secret:

  • Public groups, such as this public Denver Broncos fan group, can be searched, seen and joined by essentially anyone on Facebook.
  • Closed groups can be searched by anyone and the list of members is public, but posts are only visible to those who have been granted access by the group administrator(s). Neighborhood groups often fall into this category.
  • Secret groups are not searchable and the member list is only visible to those who belong to the group. Individuals can join the group only if they are proactively added or invited by a member.

Read more after the jump…

First Things First

blogpic_firstthingsfirstThanksgiving has come and gone (hard to believe!), but I still feel compelled to dedicate this blog post to it as it happens to be my favorite holiday. Unfortunately, however, it tends to get short-shrifted every year as people tend to jump right from Halloween to Christmas. No sooner does Halloween end, then stores start putting out their holiday decorations (if they haven’t already done so), we are inundated with holiday catalogs, and radio stations start playing holiday music. To which I say – FIRST THINGS FIRST! Thanksgiving comes before the December holidays, and we should absolutely honor that. Goodness knows we should never overlook an opportunity to slow down and be thankful.
Read more after the jump…

It’s Pretty Negative Out There. Here Are 5 Things That Make Me Thankful.

Facebook? More like Political-Argument-Book, am I right?

I’m told the best way to manage negativity is to focus on the positive, so here are five things that – as a person who works day in and day out on social platforms – I’m thankful for right now:

  • The new iOS Update – Sure, they messed with the ordering of our email threads and I had to restore my touch-to-open home button functionality…but it’s all worth it when you can send GIF messages to your friends. Something I never knew I needed, but now I can’t imagine living without.
  • The forthcoming link/tags on Instagram – They’re not available to everyone just yet, but even the thought of finally being able to link to a website within your Instagram posts literally makes me smile.
  • My Mophie – I’m traveling as I write this, and this may sound trivial, but I’m truly thankful to not be sitting on an airport carpet next to what is shockingly the only power outlet within five gates.
  • Free Wi-Fi – Sometimes it’s the obvious things. Take one minute and think about what we’d all do without Wi-Fi. We’d still have real time news to keep up with, endless work demands via email and hilarious dog videos to watch…but we wouldn’t be able to access any of it without an Ethernet connection or an all-too-often sketchy cellular signal. Thank you for that quick “Dogs are Amazing” video download, Wi-Fi.
  • A Crazy Smart and Amazing Team – If you didn’t hear, GFM/CenterTable made the Top 5 of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work list for the fourth straight year. Work is infinitely more fulfilling, less stressful and straight up fantastically fun when you’re surrounded by great people and great clients.

Take a minute and practice some gratitude this week (and the next, and the following…), even if it only has to do with the percentage of battery you have left on your phone.

Weekly Reads – Fake News, Shopping on Instagram, and Saying “Thanks”

At the risk of negatively impacting your blood pressure, there are a few things that our industry needs to figure out – not the least of which are mitigating fake news, and relying on social networks for accurate metrics. We have a couple articles that address those touchy topics this week, and a few that highlight new features within Instagram and Google that could have an impact on your business. That said, don’t forget to check out the last article to help put some things in perspective (and hopefully lower your blood pressure) as well!

Instagram

Engadget: Instagram Sees Shopping As the Next Step in Its Evolution

Instagram continues to add features, including shopping tags that allow consumer brands to tag products in photographs with a link to purchase. In an obvious challenge to Pinterest, it will be interesting to see how much traffic Instagram will be able to drive to eCommerce sites, and how this update might change the platform’s approach to content.

Read more after the jump…